Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, welcoming the latest report showing 200,000 new jobs last month, this morning urged Congress and the Obama Administration to redouble efforts to address the jobs crisis in hard-hit areas such as Ohio.
"The economy added 1.6 million jobs last year, but we still have a long way to go in Ohio and other hard-hit areas of the country," said Kaptur.
Kaptur said House Speaker John Boehner and Congressional Republicans have focused petty partisan battles such as opposing unemployment benefits rather than working together to create jobs. "I urge Congressional leaders to put partisan politics aside and focus on putting Americans back to work," she said.
Congresswoman Kaptur renewed her call for congressional leaders to take up her bill (H.R. 494) to create a 21st Century version of the Civilian Conservation Corps.
"A modern-day CCC could put millions of Americans to work within a matter of weeks, restoring our natural resources and reforesting our environment, demolishing vacant homes and developing new economic opportunities in both rural and urban areas," she said.
Kaptur said her CCC bill gives preference to unemployed veterans and unemployed Americans who have exhausted their jobless benefits. The measure currently has 20 co-sponsors, including Congresswoman Marcia Fudge and Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio.
The U.S. Labor Department reported this morning that the nation's unemployment rate dropped to 8.5 percent, its lowest level in almost three years.
"President Obama walked into a real mess," Kaptur said. "Slowly but surely, we're digging our way out. But we have to keep our focus on creating jobs for the 13 million Americans who can't find work."